GDFL expands to Illinois

by Gridiron Media

League to Welcome Belleville, Illinois as Latest Franchise Territory.

LC Simmons announced his intentions to join the Gridiron Developmental Football League for the upcoming 2017 season and beyond. The team, known as the Gateway Spartans, will be based out of Belleville, Illinois.

 Bellevilleis a city in St. Clair County, Illinois, United States, co-extensive with Belleville Township. The population was 42,034 according to the Census Bureau's 2015 estimates. It is the eighth-most populated city outside the Chicago Metropolitan Area and the most populated city south of Springfield in the state of Illinois. It is the county seat of St. Clair County, and the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Belleville and the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows. Belleville is the most populated city in the Metro-East region of the St. Louis Metropolitan Area and in Southern Illinois. Due to its proximity to Scott Air Force Base, the population receives a boost from military and federal civilian personnel, defense contractors, and military retirees.

“We are happy to have this opportunity to join the Gridiron Developmental Football League in bringing a professional developmental football team to the state of Illinois ,” stated Spartans Owner, LC Simmons. “We are hoping to make this a very good experience for our team and the community. When you are the only developmental football franchise in the state you know that all eyes are on you. It feels good to be able to represent the entire state of Illinois in an area that has meant so much to me over the years”

“It is a pleasure as well as an honor to welcome the Gateway Spartans to the GDFL”, stated GDFL Chairman Charles Thompson. “They have a great market, and are in a key area to help expand our footprint for future franchises. We know they will come to compete, but more importantly they share our values and vision of building up the communities in which we serve.”

The team plans to announce an official press conference slated in the coming weeks, with details coming shortly. In the meantime, fans can visit their website at for upcoming announcements, ticketing info, and player tryouts.

The announcement from the Spartans is the latest in a series of announcements planned in the upcoming weeks from the league office. The GDFL is set for kickoff in May of 2017. Fans can learn more about the Gridiron Developmental Football League by visiting its website at